The Tomorrow People Season 1 Review “Thanatos”

In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the daemon personification of death. He was feared by mortals and hated by the gods. In the realm of The Tomorrow People, they may have given that designation to another scientist, but I’d say Jedikiah pretty much fits the bill. He is feared by humans and (although they aren’t gods) hated by the tomorrow people. Yep. I’d say it’s a pretty good analogy. This episode pretty much focused on Jedikiah, and it was a rather interesting character study.

Stephen told John and the others about his vision of his father, and he wanted them to help him figure out what Thanatos is. Somehow or other the braintrust of Stephen, Cara, and Russell came up with the idea of sneaking into Jedikiah’s house and reading his mind. I don’t know at what point that sounded like a good plan, but they were all gung ho about it; over John’s strenuous objection. Naturally, things didn’t go as planned. Jedikiah woke up and Russell accidentally teleported Jedikiah back to the hideout. Instead of immediately getting him out of there, the braintrust decided to keep him there to question him about Thanatos. Seriously. Why does John keep letting those three come up with the plan? At any rate, Cara kept trying to read his mind, but Jed has apparently learned a few tricks to keep people out of his head.

Meanwhile, back at Ultra HQ, the Founder (aka the creepy dude who was in Stephen’s head a while back) was working overtime to locate Jed. Stephen tried to toss them off the scent by leading them to Morgan, the woman that Jed is sleeping with. After not getting any results from the three telepaths that he had working on finding Jed, the Founder hooked up to the machine himself and found where the braintrust was hiding Jed. The agents were quickly closing in on their location, so John teleported Jed out. Unfortunately, John got caught in the process, and things aren’t looking too good for him right now. He was dragged back to Ultra HQ, beaten and bloody. He also let Stephen into his head to see what he and Jedikiah were hiding. John killed Stephen’s father. It was at Jedikiah’s order, but he did it.

This episode seemed to be an exercise in softening Jedikiah. Up to this point, most of what we’ve seen has been Jed being cold and calculating. Yes, he believes he’s on a righteous mission to protect the world from tomorrow people. He believes it to be a noble cause and he believes that there is a real, imminent threat to the human race. Yes, he’s also had moments of showing a shocking amount of humanity, but those moments (for the most part) are completely overwhelmed by his cold-blooded slaughter of innocent people simply for being tomorrow people. I imagine that with this episode we were supposed to see Jed as a human being, but no sale. I don’t care what spin you put on him, he’s still a cold-blooded snake. That’s not to say that Jed isn’t a complex individual and a mess of conflicting character traits.

On the one hand, you have a man who is passionate about what he does. He believes he’s right and whatever actions he takes, no matter how barbaric or cruel, are all for the greater good. Yet, this same man who is willing to kill hundreds, cares so deeply for John and Morgan. So much, in fact, that he is willing to risk death to protect them. Keeping Morgan a secret is actually in Jed’s own best interest, but I don’t think it’s just that. After Cara and Russell kidnapped Jed, he refused to tell them anything while he was patiently waiting for Ultra to find him. However, after Cara and Russell let him know that they’d found Morgan and were willing to turn her over to Ultra, Jedikiah told them everything they wanted to know about Thanatos. He cares about Morgan, but even more than that, he can be himself with her. She’s the only person in his life around whom he can take off his mask. At the office, he’s got to maintain a certain level of detachment. He cannot let anyone in and he’s always got to be on his guard. That’s not the case with Morgan. She seems to be the only person who knows the real Jedikiah, and he needs her.

Jed’s relationship with John is another story. When Jed found John, he was a lost, scared kid who had been abandoned and abused and just desperately wanted someone, anyone, to love him. Jed saved him from the life of pain that lay ahead of him, and seemed to love him. That’s why John worked so hard to make Jedikiah proud. The sad thing is, I don’t think Jedikiah truly understands how to love. He seems to equate obedience with love, and they are most certainly not the same thing. According to Cara, though, Jed does love John like a son. Jed seemed to be under the impression that John hasn’t killed him because he (John) shares those feelings, but it looks like Jed was mistaken. John didn’t kill Jed, not because he loves him, but because he refused to let Jed turn him into a monster again. Whatever affection John had for Jed died the day that he ordered John to kill Stephen’s father.

On the other hand, Jed is a man who had his own brother killed just to further his own cause. He ordered the hit without blinking an eye and without a thought to how that was going to affect his brother’s family. He’s a man who uses fear to control those around him,and who demands absolute obedience. Jed doesn’t care about people so much as he cares about maintaining power over them. He manipulates people and tosses them aside like they don’t matter. He’s cold, cruel, and ruthless. To say that Jed is a complicated man is an understatement.

It would be easy to hate Jedikiah because he is absolutely, solidly in the evil category. However, I don’t actually hate him. I hate what he does. I hate what he believes. I hate how he uses and manipulates people. Most of the time, though, I just feel sorry for him. Jedikiah told John that he was just a boy in search of a family, but isn’t that what Jed is too? Isn’t that what he’s looking for in Morgan and John? A woman who knows that he’s a monster but loves him anyway; and a son who looks up to him and of whom he can be proud? The desire to simply be accepted for who he is and loved in spite of it, is something he and the tomorrow people have in common. Mark Pellegrino brings a vulnerability to Jedikiah in his scenes with John and Morgan that aren’t present anywhere else. He tries to keep his armor on around them, but when he looks at them he just looks like a man who wants to be loved. Pellegrino infuses so many paradoxical traits into Jedikiah, which in the hands of a lesser actor could turn him into a one note, flat character. However, Pellegrino’s performance is so wonderfully nuanced that Jedikiah has become a man that I really want to hate, but just can’t bring myself to. Kudos for truly excellent work.

All in all, pretty solid episode. I liked that we got a deeper look into who Jedikiah is, and I have a feeling we’re going to find that his issues with his brother run deeper than we even know. I’m not entirely sure why Jed wanted him dead, but I bet whatever reason he gave John was a lie. I’m concerned for Stephen now that Jed knows Cara still has her powers. I don’t think Jed is going to handle it well now that he knows Stephen has been lying to him. I’m looking forward to next week’s mid-season finale and finding out whether Stephen’s dad is actually dead. So what did y’all think of this week’s The Tomorrow People?

Follow me on Twitter @Eutopia26